Meet the European WordPress Communities – Turkey, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia


WordCamp Europe is getting closer and today we’re continuing our series on European communities. After introducing Poland, Lithuania and Estonia, today we’d like you to meet the communities from Turkey, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Russia.

This article is really special because two of the mentioned communities—Turkish and Russian—are spanned across two continents: Europe and Asia. Connecting continents and people, WordPress is building a better world ❤️

The WordPress community in Turkey

In beautiful Istanbul, a city spanned over two continents with such an amazing history that once was the capital of three great empires–Roman, Bizantine and Ottomans–we’re talking with Emre Erkan from the Turkish WordPress community. Emre is a polyglot programmer passionate about open source and very enthusiastic about languages, something that he proved by contributing to polyglots on the first ever WordPress Global Translation Day.

Emre Erkan and the Turkish polyglots team on the first WordPress Global Translation Day

Emre Erkan and the Turkish polyglots team on the first WordPress Global Translation Day

The Turkish community officially started as WordPress Turkey in 2003, and Emre is part of it from 2005. He maintains translations, the community website, and social media. Unfortunately, there are not many meetups in the country.

“The Turkish community has 10000 fans on their Facebook page and around 1300 followers on Twitter. We do WP Days and around 10 people are regular,”  says Emre and continues, The local community mostly consists of developers.

We asked him about their problems as a community:

Money is always problem. We do sponsorship agreements with hosting companies etc. They provide us venue or budget and we let them promote their services on WP days.

Get in touch with the WordPress community in Turkey

The Bulgarian WordPress community

Organizers and volunteers on stage at the end of one more WordCamp Sofia (in 2015)

Organizers and volunteers on stage at the end of one more WordCamp Sofia (in 2015)

A five-hour drive to the west of Istanbul takes us to Sofia. The Bulgarian capital hosted to the 2nd WordCamp Europe in 2014, which a lot of us remember fondly. The Bulgarian WordPress community started in 2010 with the first WordCamp Sofia taking place that year. Introducing the Bulgarian community is Veselin Nikolov, who has been a part of the community from the very beginning.

We have two independently organized events. The organizers vary depending on who has free time and enthusiasm to do the job. WordCamp Sofia is an annual event. It had 333 attendees (350 tickets) in 2015. The monthly WordPress Meetup in Sofia has 20-40 people.

Other than Sofia, there is a noticeable number of WordPress professionals in two other cities – Plovdiv and Varna. There are developers, freelancers, designers as well as agencies. People from Sofia are very active in going to other WordCamps as visitors, volunteers, and organizers. We asked him about problems they’re facing as a community.

Disagreements about venues happen from time to time, interpersonal problems as well. The biggest problem is that some of the most prominent members of the community are often very busy with their jobs and businesses.

Get in touch with the WordPress community in Bulgaria

WordPress in Ukraine

After Bulgaria we’re going further northeast to Ukraine, where we’re talking with Anna Kramar about the Ukrainian WordPress community. Anna works as project manager with WordPress for the last 7 years and is a shareholder in Pingbull LLC, a company that delivers high-end WordPress solutions.

Anna Kramar is one of the most active people in the Ukrainian community

Anna Kramar is one of the most active people in the Ukrainian community

Ukraine’s community started in 2013 and it consists of 10-12 volunteers who help with organization, presentations and activities. Meetups are visited by 20-50 people, from business owners and developers, to bloggers and web designers.

We focus mostly on technical aspects of WordPress theme development and security, but also cover such themes as strategic, business-oriented, design and content marketing. We held 3 conferences already that covered about 600 participants in total, and every quarter we organize meetups locally.

Kyiv did not host its own WordCamp just yet but there are a lot of people on local community-organized events

Kyiv did not host its own WordCamp just yet, but there are a lot of people on local community-organized events

How did it all start?

Until you don’t start doing something, it will never start on its own. We didn’t have community in Ukraine and we felt that we needed it. We had a lot to share and contribute for same engaged and enthusiastic people about WordPress and WEB in general. Therefore started meetups and conferences in Kyiv, Ukraine. Unfortunately, rules for the official camps are pretty strict and first years we could not manage to fulfil them in order to arrange WordCamp Ukraine. Hopefully it will be fixed very-very soon 🙂 Other than that WordPress Kitchen is same non-profitable educational project organized by volunteers from local community.

The Ukrainian community has good connections with the Norwegian community since a lot of companies work together.

We take part in Meetups and WordCamp Norway and know organisers. We also took part in WordCamp Russia 2014. One of our volunteers Oleksandr Strikha was a speaker there. I brought equipment(projector) for conference from Kyiv. Not sure if that’s counted as contribution, but it was a bit heavy :D.

Ukraine's WordPress community isn't just on person

Ukraine’s WordPress community isn’t just one person

Ukrainians travel to other WordCamps as well. WordCamp Europe, Norway, Russia and France, but also to other WordCamps that are held in English. What was your biggest success?

We started with conference that was about 90 people and speakers were mostly from our team. And after that more people have contacted and taken part in the next meetups and conferences as speakers and participants/volunteers. Last conference was visited by 300 people.

Community information – get in touch

The Russian WordPress community

Moscow is one of the most well-known cities in the world and—as it happens—the most active city in the Russian WordPress community. To get a grasp of the Russian community we talked with Konstantin Kovshenin who started it in 2012. Konstantin is well known in the global community as a WordPress developer at Automattic. He is a core contributor, meta team contributor and WordCamp organizer.

Konstantin: The Russian WordPress community started in March of 2012 and it mainly consists of developers, designers, webmasters, bloggers and some business owners. There are from 20-50 people per Meetup and around 200-250 people per WordCamp.

Kostantin Kovshenin and Dmitry Mayorov are the organizers of WordCamp Moscow

Kostantin Kovshenin and Dmitry Mayorov are the organizers of WordCamp Moscow

Dmitry Mayorov is Konstantin’s fellow co-organizer of WordCamp Moscow – a young guy who we met at WordCamp London couple of weeks ago. He runs a theme shop called ThemePatio where he’s focused on creating simple content-oriented themes “the WordPress way”.

Dmitry: The range of topics is very diverse. From choosing a right hosting provider, to building plugins, to typography basics, to marketing strategies for theme and plugin shop owners.

Meet Wapuushkin :)

Meet Wapuushkin 🙂

Although Russians don’t travel to other WordCamps as much (which we can understand for Russia being such a huge country), they are in contact with other WordCamp and Meetup organizers from Chelyabinsk, St. Petersburg, Omsk and Kiev (in Ukraine). We ask Dmitry if they faced any problems?

Dmitry: There was an issue with finding a sponsor who would provide the venue after the previous one stopped sponsoring. But with the help of the community, we did find the new one.

Community information


Take part in European communities article series

While we started to work on the article series about European WordPress communities, we sent emails to all the organizers from various countries and cities. If you still haven’t answered please answer to the survey. If you didn’t receive an email from us but would like to be part of this article series – get in touch with us from our contact page

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